Immigration and the Labor Market

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Over the last 16 years, the United States gained 21 million people in the labor force, and 11 million of that increase was immigrants, according to a paper from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Tuesday.

The labor force includes both people who are working and the unemployed, but not stay-at-home parents, retirees, full-time students and people who live on disability benefits rather than working.

The same report found that between¬†1996 to 2003, the jobless rate of immigrants was higher than that of native-born Americans. From 2005 to 2007, immigrants’ unemployment rate was lower than native-born Americans. The jobless rates of the foreign born and the native born were about the same from 2008 to 2012.

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